We partied the night away under the streets of Paris to some amazing bands, here is one of my favorites… The Gift
So much has Happened over the last few weeks, it seems like a whirlwind, but I want to keep you updated.
Bloody Hero International Film Festival, February 8-10, 2013 Phoenix, AZ
Three of the crew from American Courtesans attended the Bloody Hero Film Festival in Phoenix, AZ and I must say, I was honored to have this film play along side the others I saw… American Courtesans took home the award for “Best Edit of a Feature Film”….Amazing! http://www.bloodyhero.net
Women’s International Film and Arts Festival, March 20-24, 2013 Miami, FL
We were just notified that AC is an Official Selection of WIFF - the Women’s International Film and Arts Festival in Miami, FL. This is so very wonder as they seem to have a big presence with PBS, and… at the Adreinne Arsht Center for the Performing, a red carpet event will be held on opening night, and Jada Piinkett Smith will be the speaker. I can’t even believe that we are part of this. I don’t have the screening schedule yet, but I will put it up once I have it. Honored, simply honored.
ECU The European Independent Film Festival, March 29-31, 2013 Paris, France
American Courtesans has now gone global. We are also an official selection of the ECU European Independent Film Festival, and our film will be screening there. We are one of 4 non-European documentaries screening at the festival… (BTW, ECU is pegged as the Sundance of Europe!). This is beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed of but it fuels me, as we do have a message, and an important one. http://www.ecufilmfestival.com
More about us
We are in the process of putting together a contest, allowing 5 women who work in this industry a sneak peek of the film. The reason being, is that we do expect some bad press. Why? Because there will always be those out there who don’t want us do well. Those who have ulterior motives, and have made up their mind before they see the film. I am getting that from the screenings we have done. The say that “those who are convinced against their will are still of the same opinion”. So we’d like our opinions from within the industry to be heard first, so that we have a say. If you would like to be considered, just email me at email@example.com and I will keep you posted when we finalized our contest guidelines.
Expected Release: Summer of 2013, on VOD, Cable, DVD, and BlueRay
Why we shoot deer in the wild
(A letter from Someone who wants to remain anonymous, who farms, writes well and actually tried this)
I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.
I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up— 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end
so I would have a good hold.
The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it, it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope, and then received an education. The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.
That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer— no Chance. That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals.
A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.
I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at
all between me and that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual. Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer’s momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn’t want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder — a little trap I had set before hand… kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.
Did you know that deer bite?
They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when ….. I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and slide off to then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head—almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.
The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective.
It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now), tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.
That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.
Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp… I learned a long time ago that, when an animal-like a horse — strikes at you with their hooves and you can’t get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.
This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.
Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.
I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope……to sort of even the odds!!
All these events are true so help me God…
An Educated Farmer
As most of you know the feature documentary, American Courtesans (http://www.americancourtesans.com) has been complete around 3 months now. To me the time has seemed to stand still. So much is happening so very fast and it’s hard to know what to do. We have received numerous offers from both distributors and Sales reps. All in all, a good sign. We have received good reviews from those who have seen us ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2315806) and as eager as I am to sign a contract, I’ve been counseled to wait (a hard thing when one is excited about something). So right now we are sitting back and seeing what happens on the film festival circuit. Which in itself is another game of strategy.
It’s truly hard to know what is best for the film and what is the best way to get our message out. But, we are working on it. In fact, options are not the problem, knowing what to do with it is. So in the mean time, I will wait to see what is out there. January and February will tell a lot about what avenue to take as many of the film festivals do their notifications then. It seems so crazy that if one decides to screen at one fest, another might not take you, but that is reality. In fact, it seems that where you pick to have your North American Premiere is very important, so accepting a smaller fest could be detrimental to the film sales as a whole. This to me is a bit crazy, but I am told this is reality.
Does this mean we won’t screen at the smaller fests? No… what it means is that I am willing to wait and see who will have us, and where we will start. I believe that the more fests that we screen at, the better the exposure for us involved. As in the past, I am not expecting the main stream to embrace without reservation, as we always are more accepted if it’s in a scandalous or salacious manner, and to be frank, this film will most likely challenge main stream ideas about us and our profession. So, I’ll keep you updated and promise to let you know where we start and what is going on, as without out you…. our voice would never be heard.
Now this is simply a report that I got, but I must say the source is very credible and I tend to believe this…
Hennepin County (Minneapolis area) which is charging cases out as felony conspiracies to solicit for the men and felony conspiracy to commit prostitution for the gals. This is SERIOUS. They have charged several cases out as felonies and all of them started with misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor arrests. (this doesn’t mean this is what is going on with the current victim, but this is going on). No doubt that this has become a priority in the metro and several agencies from various county attorneys, metro violent crime task force, MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (state version of the FBI), the Ramsey and Hennepin County Sheriffs Special Operations Divisions and of course the local PDs are all coordinating and involved. I guess the county attorney has warned that he is going to throw a heavy cold wet blanket over prostitution in the metro this winter, starting with the high end people instead of the usual low end busts. I believe according to my info that the “prosecution model” of this was first used successfully in Phoenix AZ last year. So far it has been primarily another lever to get a gross misdemeanor guilty plea and take the seized items (cars, computers, etc), but that there are 7 of these felony conspiracy to commit prostitution cases headed to trial next year. If any of these go through it could set a precedent. WHICH MEANS WE ARE ALL AT RISK.
In my opinion what is going on is that, if they can move these traffic ticket violations up to felonies, their stats will look better. In an environment where violent crime increases and it is harder for those in government to look good, we are easy political fodder, even if it is not truly best for the community as a whole. Their conviction stats of felonies will increase at the same time, they don’t really have to deal with the violence and heinous crimes out there… Pure politics in my opinion… But why this is of consequence to all of us is if it works? We will all be at risk, those of you who think you might be exempt… think again. In a Country that holds itself to be liberal and tolerant, we are one of the few that still hunt us women down like animals. I love this Country and am an avid supported of the US, and because of that I believe we can be part of the problem or part of the solution…. From personal knowledge I know that many of those on our police forces while enforcing the law, hate what they have to do in this area. They too understand the difference between making the numbers look good and real crime. We have limited resources so we all have to chose:
Child Molesters or Prostitutes
Drug Cartels or Prostitutes
Rapists or Prostitutes
Murderers or Prostitutes
You get my drift, even if you don’t think this impacts you… it does just think it out.
If we in the industry do nothing, we die. If we do nothing, we become political causalities. If we do nothing, both our civil liberties and our human rights will be taken, and the unintended consequences? Sex traffickers are safe, and the women who suffer at the hands of these abusers have few escape routes because there is no where to turn.
It needs to be addressed n I’d be very suspect of any references coming thru there… Her profile was pulled immediately after the incident n she didn’t do it… So my question is how did they know and why wldnt they want to warn others on there or pull the guy and girls profile? Just questions, but important ones I think… Anyway, thanks so much for ur support, as I keep saying… Things do so need to change… K
Earlier this year, I received a call from one of the women in the film. Her voice quivered as she spoke and I could tell she was trying very hard not to burst into tears. (I’ll refer to her as AC1)
AC1 had been receiving letters which had instructions in them for her to basically deconstruct her business, which supports herself and her kids. If she didn’t, she would suffer consequences. These letters at the time were from an unknown source. She had forwarded them to me and asked for advice. The letters were very caustic, and the verbiage was both unspeakable and terrifying. The letters started by informing her they knew her real name, and then they would write it repeatedly in block letter across the page. They used the term slut and whore over and over in bold. With constant derogatory comments , which don’t need repeating. As each letter progressed, it became apparent that the attacker knew where she lived.. (there is little I can share as they are simply too vile, but this will at least give you an idea of the content)
“I wonder what type of house you have. I will find out soon.”
“I had help finding out about you…..”
“You’re a controlling bitch whose really not in control of her life”
“It doesn’t matter what you call yourself, others will call you a hooker, a whore, a slut… you must hate yourself”
“You have a nice little house. It is nice to drive by and see it. We wonder which room is where you sleep”
“You can’t change the nature of who you are. You fuck and suck men”
“SLUT SLUT SLUT SLUT”
“No slight ever goes unnoticed or forgotten”
“What will your family and friends say about you? What will your children say about you?”
And all the time as I read I became aware that this person could be dangerous. They threatened to tell her kids and family and ruin her life, if she didn’t comply. Truly the bolding and repetitiveness of certain words, gave me the chills…. She was called a Slut and a whore all the time revealing intimate details that this person knew about her life.
I told AC1, that if I were he,r I would go to the police, but I’m not her and was not a lawyer or in a place to give her advice, but my thinking was if she complied with their demands, where would it stop. What would they ask for next, would they begin demanding money. She opted to do just that and made a very difficult choice. AC1 went to the local authorities. However for us, it never really works like that… (I know, you can hear the other shoe getting ready to drop).
When she reported the letters to local law enforcement, she was told that there was nothing that they could do as she didn’t know exactly who this person was and I guess it was just not worth investigating. She was sent home with no help.
Here’s where the story gets good. Last week she made an appointment with a new client who was a member of P411 and gave a reference of a supposed women in this industry. This client was handicapped or supposedly handicapped, I don’t know for sure. AC1 has a large client base of handicapped men, as she sees herself as being healing and finds that she has a spiritual connection with many who suffer from being different from the norm. All public knowledge as she writes about it often. (It’s obvious that they did research on her, yep… I guess this is worth investigating). The gentleman came to her house, and they spoke for about 20 minutes. She said, he was a very nice guy, and of course handicapped or at least pretending to be, so a very typical client for her.
I’m not going to relay the details of the conversation the two of them had. I believe it’s best for her protection. But, suddenly there was a knock on the door, and when she answered it there stood 4 or 5 uniformed officers totally with flack jackets and everything, guns drawn! But it gets better, they were from the violent crimes unit!!!??? And boys and girls, they at that point had no search warrant, but used her escort services to get in the door. She let them in and they stood around as they were then waiting for a search warrant. In conversation, it became apparent that the same guy who wrote those letters that the police couldn’t help protect her from, had written them making up all kinds of stories about weapons etc… and they did figure out how to follow up on that. But it was obvious that they didn’t have enough for an initial search warrant based on his crazy ass letters or the whole disabled rouse wouldn’t have even been necessary. (I did get a copy of a couple of them, and I can tell you that they were actually typed on an old fashion type writer and looked like they were out of some stalker movie!)
According to AC1, after the search warrant arrived, they then began to search her premises and confiscate items. The items that were taken were the following:
and a poster that she won at the raffle of the documentary film “American Courtesans”
Yeah really… and from all I can tell that the poster had no evidentiary value, and any cop worth his weight would know that… So to recap, the police wouldn’t protect her, but they seemed to be able to follow up on a lead from her stalker and get in her place using the Handicapped gig, in order to get a search warrant, for a misdemeanor offense.
This is just how it is… but it shouldn’t be. The issue of Sex Worker rights has become both a human and civil rights issue. In this case, the law was used simply to hurt a women who was looking for protection from a sick and twisted soul. This needs to stop and until we stand together unified, it will never happen. Until us women and supporters are able stop cowering in corners like shivering denizens, we will never be able to report, or be free of abuse.
To make matters worse, on the adult boards, so many who really had no idea what was happening, were the first to trash her and that pains me. We live in a subculture of society and if we don’t protect each other who will. Now to be fair. The police after realizing she wasn’t some gun slinging, brothel running momma, backed down and actually slipped out quietly without either handcuffing her or arresting her and tried to leave the building with out letting the neighbors know. (I do applaud you for doing that, but they still took her stuff)
Things need to change… I’m not sure I can say that enough. For those who say they are against sex trafficking, I’d like to help. This is exactly how pimps and traffickers get a hold of their victims. They are adept at creating a chasm between the girls and the authorities, proving that by reaching out for help in the end, will only hurt you, and it is the woman and her family that will ultimately pay for stepping out of line. But this this time it wasn’t a pimp, it was a client and it turns out he wrote these letters to the police while AC1 had been confiding in him about them and he pretended to help. So on one hand he pretended to help her be her advocate, and all the while he was the one doing the attacking. ( Really to me, this is one of the oldest pimp moves on the book… been there, done that!)
The irony is, he is most likely somewhere right now without a care in the world, while AC1’s life has been altered for good… as there is nothing more terrifying for a Buddha carrying woman on a spiritual path, than a group of cops donning flack jackets with guns drawn, pointing directly at her.
(As a side note, The American Courtesans Project is looking for supporters to help spread the word. We need your help and expertise in the areas of Civil Rights, Legal knowledge, or just your best wishes, and support. For more information on the organization please read my previous post. And to support us simply comment back, or please go to our IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2315806 and like us.)